2023 annual report highlights

UPP delivered strong results in 2023, ending the year fully funded with a 10.2% annual rate of return—staying well-equipped to deliver a secure, dependable pension promise to members today and tomorrow.

Download a printable PDF version of our full 2023 annual report.

Building strong foundations and growing with purpose

Less than three years in, UPP is proud to have laid the foundations of a modern, full-service pension organization, one that will serve our members and Ontario’s university sector for generations to come.

At every step, we have pursued our foundational build with unwavering focus, oversight, and precision. Leveraging our clean slate, we have been building for efficiency, growth, and sustainable value creation, ensuring that crucial strategy enablers, such as responsible investing and service excellence, were ingrained in our approach from day one.

In 2023, UPP maintained our strategic focus on securing member benefits and establishing a first-rate pension solution for the university sector. Now in the final stages of our build, our approach is already materializing benefits for our members, and we look forward to bringing continued value as our strategy progresses.

Explore 2023 highlights

The Plan maintained full funding, earned strong returns, and welcomed new participants in 2023

All figures reported on this page are as at Dec. 31, 2023.


funded status


discount rate


net assets, up from $10.8B in 2022


funding surplus


annual rate of return


cost-of-living adjustment for pensions in pay

Inflation protection is a valuable benefit designed to increase the amount of a member’s monthly pension in pay through a cost-of-living adjustment based on the increase in the Canadian Consumer Price Index. The cost-of-living adjustment is also sometimes referred to as indexation.

In 2024, pensions in pay for UPP’s retired members, survivors, and dependents are indexed at the full 75% for UPP service accrued on and after July 1, 2021, meaning a 3.54% increase to the post-conversion portion of their pensions. Learn more here.

Grew our membership to


working and retired members



in pension benefits

“We're thrilled to see positive outcomes from the operational and investment foundations we’ve built over the past three years. In laying the groundwork for our comprehensive pension services offering, and advancing our investment strategy, we’re continuing to create long-term value for our members. With these strong foundations in place, we're eager to keep growing, delivering value, stability, and pension security to even more members of Ontario's university sector,”

Picture of Barbara Zvan

Barbara Zvan

President and Chief Executive Officer

We made significant progress against our long-term investment strategy to secure a lifelong, worry-free pension for our members.

With UPP’s in-house investment team now in place and fully managing Plan assets, we have made significant strides in streamlining and further optimizing the strong investment foundations set by our participating plans in line with UPP’s long-term investment strategy.

Pursuing UPP’s target asset

UPP’s target asset mix is specifically designed to fund our pension benefits for the long term. It will help us maintain a healthy funding and liquidity position, stay well equipped to pay members’ pensions, and remain agile to investment opportunities as markets evolve.

Our public and private market teams have negotiated millions in investment fee savings while bringing greater transparency and control to the portfolio. They have also substantially expanded UPP’s exposure in target areas, including stable, inflation hedging assets, contributing to the portfolio’s strength over the long term.

Committed or invested


in high-quality, long-term inflation-hedging private assets in the last two years.

“In yet another difficult year for investors, UPP’s talented investment team delivered strong results, ending the year fully funded and well positioned to continue providing lifelong, predictable pension security for members.”

Picture of Gale Rubenstein

Gale Rubenstein

Chair, Board of Trustees

Leading with sustainability

Sustainability is a comprehensive focus across UPP—in how we both invest and operate as an organization—and a fundamental lens through which we derive and protect value for members.

With a systems-level view, our in-house Responsible Investing and Investment teams work seamlessly to account for ESG factors at every stage of the investment process. We also work with our external investment partners and industry peers to continuously improve performance in this area.

Among other important material risks, climate change is an urgent challenge for which we have taken consistent action in line with our fiduciary duty.

We made progress on our climate action plan, exceeding our 2025 interim target.

We’ve established a bold and clear set of climate-related commitments that seek to align our investment portfolio to net-zero GHG emissions by 2040 or sooner, with an emphasis on decarbonizing the real economy.

In 2023, we further advanced our responsible investing governance structure with a Climate Stewardship Plan and Climate Transition Investment Framework.

Together with our investment policies, these initiatives help us progress our commitment to manage the impacts of climate change on investment performance and to achieve a net-zero portfolio—supporting long-term value creation for members.

Achieved a total:

17% reduction

in our portfolio carbon footprint against our 2021 baseline, exceeding our 2025 target.

We committed capital to climate solutions.

The ongoing transition to a low-carbon economy requires significant amounts of capital, which presents opportunities for investors. Setting a climate solutions target enables us to capitalize on opportunities related to the climate transition while enhancing our ability
to provide long-term retirement benefits.

To monitor progress against our target, UPP will disclose new dollars committed to climate solutions investments annually. In addition, we will disclose actual dollars invested to monitor how the dollars committed are translating into climate solution assets across the portfolio over time.

2030 target


total climate solution commitments

In 2023, UPP had over $290 million in qualifying investments in our portfolio, up from nearly $175 million in 2022.



to climate solutions in 2023

Over time, these commitments—which we will make through private market funds, co-investments, and direct investments, as well as net-new allocations in public market or fixed income funds—will be deployed into qualifying investments. These include companies, assets, and technologies that can help mitigate the impacts of climate change and adapt to a changing climate.

We are preparing to deliver a comprehensive suite of pension services–including the upcoming launch of our new member and employer portals.

As a pension plan, delivering proactive, personalized services to participating employers and members is core to UPP’s mission.

In 2023, we continued preparations to launch UPP’s full suite of pension services to members and employers in 2024. This includes the myUPP Member and Employer Portals, a dedicated team of service and support experts, and easy-to-use member resources to empower members in their pension planning.

What to expect? 

Members can expect our team to be there for the moments that matter, big or small.

UPP’s dedicated team of pension experts will provide personalized and proactive pension-related support through several communication channels.

The myUPP Member Portal will offer secure access to real-time pension information, a pension estimator tool and self-serve planning resources.

We continued our work to help enhance pension security within the university sector and welcomed more plans to UPP.

UPP was built by and for Ontario’s university sector, to bring valuable, lifelong pension security to universities and sector organizations across the province. Our doors are open to all universities and sector organizations, with any past and present plan types—including those currently without a plan.

In 2023, we worked closely with a number of universities and organizations exploring their path to joining UPP and helped others prepare to seamlessly transition into the Plan.

We were pleased to welcome the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa and, non-unionized staff from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations in April 2024 and look forward to welcoming Trent University staff and Victoria University staff and faculty to UPP in early 2025.

2023 by the numbers


participating universities


sector organizations


unions and faculty associations

As organizations consider their pension options, our expert team is available for information and support.


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